Re: Cohousing communities with Sociocracy enshrined in Declaration / Bylaws?
From: Diana Leafe Christian (
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2021 14:34:45 -0700 (PDT)
Hello Scott and all,

John Buck told me that EcoVillage at Loudon County, a cohousing community in 
Virginia, at one time used socicoracy and included this in its ByLaws and other 
community documents. John believed that if a community stated in its 
"constitution" documents like  ByLaws that it uses sociocracy, this would 
ensure the community's commitment to using it ongoingly and they couldn't later 
change it. However, John tells me this community no longer uses sociocracy. The 
two founders who first advocated socicoracy later left the community. Some 
newer members didn't like sociocracy so they advocated that the group stop 
using it, and at some point the group did stop using it.  (If I've gotten any 
aspects of this story wrong, I apologize. Perhaps someone from EcoVillage at 
Loudon County could clarify if so.) 

So apparently building sociocracy into a community's ByLaws doesn't actually 
guarantee its ongoing use, though it seems like a good idea anyway and 
certainly couldn't hurt! In my experience, most communities that use sociocracy 
_don't_ include it in their Bylaws and other documents. In any case, I suggest 
contacting EcoVillage at Loudon County, and perhaps also John Buck to get a 
copy of the wording they originally included in their ByLaws about using 
sociocracy. I assume their Bylaws are for a Homeowners Association or 
Condominium Association,  similar to Canada's Strata Title Corporation, and 
maybe that's what Treehouse Village Ecohousing uses too. EcoVillage at Loudon 
County - John Buck's sociocracy organization -

Also, Scott, I would love to interview someone in your community, perhaps 
yourself?, to learn more about the ways you use sociocracy there, for the book 
I'm writing on sociocracy in intentional communities. It's partly a 
step-by-step guide on how to do it, and partly stories of how real communities 
use it - what works well and what hasn't worked so well. It's designed to 
empower readers with useful, practical information, like my intentions for 
Creating a Life Together, but solely on self-governance. So can we talk on Zoom 
sometime, or someone from Treehouse who'd be willing?

My fall 10-Week Online Sociocracy training is from Sat, Oct. 2 through Sat, 
Oct. 4, in the late morning Pacific Time and early afternoon Eastern Time. The 
Early Bird Discount is $225 through Sept. 20, and the regular price is 
$425-$245. If five people from the same group sign up and pay all at once, it's 
$200 per person through Sept. 20. When several people from one of my past 
trainings would like one or more other members of their group to take the 
training, I offer a special price for that too. More information is at on the Schedule page. People can register by 
emailing me at diana [at] 

Good luck in incorporating sociocracy into your community's legal documents!

Diana Leafe Christian

> On Aug 28, 2021, at 4:22 PM, Scott Drennan <scottd [at]> wrote:
> Are you aware of any cohousing communities which use Sociocracy / Dynamic
> Governance, are incorporated as a condominium and:
>   1. who have included references to Sociocracy in the Condo Declaration,
>   CC&Rs, Bylaws and/or Strata Agreements; or
>   2. who use Sociocracy without referencing it in the Condo Declaration,
>   CC&Rs, Bylaws and/or Strata Agreements
> Our community is in the development phase (about to start pouring slabs!)
> and our Development Company incorporates Sociocracy directly in the
> Shareholders Agreement. This has worked well for us, and we plan to
> continue using Sociocracy after move-in.  Ideally we would like to learn /
> borrow from other communities rather than reinventing the wheel but when I
> searched the Cohousing-L archives, I didn't find any reference to cohousing
> condo communities who have built Sociocracy into their legal agreements.
> The discussions I found were Bylaws, the law and Sociocracy
> <> (2014) and
> a few others.
> We are also exploring this with but so far
> have not had any pointers to communities who have included Sociocracy in
> their legal documents.
> Ideas and suggestions are welcome!
> cheers,
> Scott
> Treehouse Village Ecohousing
> Bridgewater, Nova Scotia
> (Under development)
> P.S.  I did find one example of a community which has incorporated
> Sociocracy into its legal documents: Cohabitat Quebec. Unfortunately the
> legal system in Quebec is quite different from the rest of Canada and the
> USA, so what they've done doesn't necessarily transfer well elsewhere. They
> appear to be constituted as a condominium which delegates all management
> authority to a co-op
> <>,
> and the coop has sociocracy written into their bylaws. See
> (and brush up on your French,
> or use Google Translate) for regulatory documents for both the condo and
> co-op.
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